Restless legs syndrome: An historical note

Giorgio Coccagna, Roberto Vetrugno, Carolina Lombardi, Federica Provini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article briefly summarizes the milestones leading to current knowledge and the possibility of treating one of the most widespread and perhaps least known diseases, restless legs syndrome (RLS). Until the mid-twentieth century, the syndrome first described by Willis (1685), was sporadically reported in medical literature and in most cases deemed a bizzare condition. It was only with Ekbom's detailed clinical description of the syndrome (1944) and the polygraphic recordings of Coccagna et al. (1962) that RLS became well-recognised clinical entity. Since then, almost all sleep laboratories have devoted much of their research to discovering the pathogenetic mechanisms underlying the disease and devise increasingly specific treatment. Major advances have been made in recent years, but a full understanding of RLS is still a long way off.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-283
Number of pages5
JournalSleep Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2004


  • Nocturnal Myoclonus (NM)
  • Periodic Limb Movements in Sleep (PLMS)
  • Polysomnographic recordings (PSG)
  • Restless legs syndrome (RLS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Ophthalmology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Restless legs syndrome: An historical note'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this